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in Cambridge to try to come to an agreement on the
colour of a carpet for a college library. A person who
has had to undertake such a task and who has discovered
all the manceuvrings, all the delicate tactics, the per-
suasions, the whole science of give-and-take, that Ae
necessary to get twelve men to agree on the colour of a
carpet—such a person may be said to have had his first
lesson in diplomacy, A person who merely reads a life
-of Bismarck is liable to be deceived a hundred times
over, owing to the sheer fact of unavoidable abridge-
ments, even if for no other reason. In our condensed
version of the story a host of little shiftings and successive
adjustments and minute manoeuvrings made by Bismarck
over the course* of a number of weeks get compressed
and telescoped together—so that they cake and solidify
into one big thing, a mighty instantaneous act of volition,
a colossal piece of Bismarckism. My teacher, Professor
Temperley, once reminded us in Cambridge that when
the research student goes to manuscript sources, to the
original diplomatic correspondence, for example, he
does not go merely in order to have a scoop and to
uncover some surprising secret; he goes to the sources
primarily in order that by an actual day-to-day study of
the whole correspondence he shall learn the way in which
diplomacy works and decisions are arrived at. Only
the research student really studies things at close enough
quarters to understand the complexity of these processes.
Indeed, abridged history—through the mere fact that
it is necessarily so abridged—is having the effect of
leaving the world with many serious misconceptions,
By foreshortening the picture and making Bismarckian